Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program: Hawaii
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources

Hawaii Technical Assistance Activities

A shoal of Yellow Tang (Lau'i Pala) approaches an Achilles Surgeonfish (Pakuikui) on the reef at Kealakekua, Hawaii Island.

One of the primary missions of the Cooperative Research Units is to provide technical assistance to our cooperators. Unit Scientists use their expertise in natural resource management, experimental design, data analysis, and leadership to work with partners on a variety of issues and projects. A few of these are highlighted below.

Description and Agency Provider(s) Date
Worked with NOAAs Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment to conduct biogeographic assessment of the Virgin Islands National Park
Friedlander June 2010
Testimony written for U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy on specific examples of the role of educational programs in laws and regulatory practices.
Birkeland May 2002
Provides estimates of reef fish standing stock in the main Hawiian Islands and potential impacts associated with increasing numbers of endangered Hawaiian Monk Seals.
NOAA, Pacific Islands Regional Office, Protected Species
Friedlander February 2012
Provided technical guidance to the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii in analysis of Maunalua Bay creel survey data
The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii/Marine Program
Friedlander September 2010
Provided scientific input into development of strategic plan for Con. Inter. Hawaii Fish Trust Community-based fisheries ,management program
Conservation International
Friedlander November 2012
Provided information about the ornamental fish fishery in Hawaii, the associated practices, and ecological implications of harvest.
The Humane Society of Hawaii
Friedlander December 2011
Provided guidance on the development of marine spatial planning for the island of Niihau
NOS- Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary
Friedlander November 2012
Provided evaluation and recommendations to NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program for implementation of national coral reef strategy.
Friedlander December 2012
Met with new acting head of state aquatics agency to provide background on current status of Hawaii's fisheries and stock assessment methods.
Dept. Land and Natural Resources, Div. Aquatic Resources
Friedlander November 2012
Invited speaker and panel member to the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy on the condition of coral reefs and what actions or policies should be developed to improve their management.
Birkeland May 2002
In July 2022, our Unit (Grabowski and Tuttle Raz) organized a Structural Decision Making and Adaptive Resource Management (SDM-ARM) workshop for our State cooperator, the Hawai'i Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR), for which we invited the Oregon Unit Leader, Jim Peterson. Unit personnel assisted DAR staff in walking through information gathering and planning of ARM measures to be taken for a fish species of concern in west Hawai‘i Island (Pāku'iku'i or Achilles Tang, <i>Acanthurus achilles</i>). Since that time, we have participated in approximately monthly virtual meetings between Unit personnel and DAR staff to track progress toward SDM-ARM for Pāku'iku'i. We have also organized and convened approximately monthly virtual meetings of a subgroup to build the SDM-ARM model (multi-state occupancy model), which has recently begun to yield results that promise to inform DAR’s management of the fish.
Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources
Grabowski, Peterson, Raz, Masse, McSwain July 2022
Help develop survey of kahului Harbor fisheries management area
Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resource-Maui
Friedlander March 2011
Gave a talk on important or key factors on which to focus for Census of Marine Life (CoML) and then advised in group discussions, 16 and 17 August 2004.
Birkeland August 2004
Facilitating Structured Decision Making process for reef fish management with HI Unit fishery biologists
Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources, Aquatic Resource Division
Peterson, Grabowski July 2022
Facilitated Structured Decision Making rapid prototyping workshop with DAR biologists
Hawai’i Department of Land and Natural Resources, Aquatic Resource Division
Peterson, Grabowski July 2022
Due to my expertise in coral-reef ecosystems, I was invited to be an advisor within DAR’s “Holomua: Marine Advisory Network,” which supports the State-mandated initiative to effectively manage the nearshore waters of Hawai'i by 2030. I engaged in a three-part expert questionnaire that provided input on ecological, economic, and social indicators of success for marine management actions. I will continue to provide guidance and advice on statewide, island-scale, and place-based fisheries regulations in Hawaii’s nearshore waters.
Hawai'i Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources
Raz January 2023
Conduct underwater surveys of fishes, helped develop database, and assissted with data analysis for National Park of American Samoa
National Park Service, Pacific Islands Coral Reef Research Program
Friedlander March 2010
Assisted Palau International Coral Reef Center with data collection of analysis of reef fish habitat affinity study
Palau International Coral Reef Center
Friedlander October 2010
Advised the Ministry of Fisheries on the development of a research and monitoring program for the recreational fishery for bonefish.
Ministry of Fisheries, Cook Islands Government
Friedlander October 2011
Role - Description Provider         Start Date        End Date       
Member, Returned Overhead Research Funds Committee, Department of Bilogy, University of Hawaii - Evaluate requests and distribute returned indirect reseach funds to the Biology Department for use by faculty and the department. Friedlander September 2011 Present
Member - Graduate Admissions Committee – U. Hawaii, Zoology - Reviewed, ranked, and made final decisions for admission to graduate program in Zoology for 2009-2010 academic year Friedlander September 2009 February 2010
Executive Committee Member, Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science Graduate Program, University of Hawai'i at Hilo - Meet biweekly during the school year to plan, discuss, and improve the TCBES graduate program at UH Hilo. Raz September 2022 Present
Role and Organization Individual         Start Date        End Date       
member, advisory panel, Hawaii Seascape Initiative Friedlander February 2009 February 2011
U.S. Geological Survey Representative, Interagency Coral Reef Mitigation Task Force Birkeland February 2002 August 2003
Research Alternate, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Reserve Advisory Council Birkeland March 2002 December 2003
Participant-Allowable Catch Limits Workshop, Western Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Council Friedlander February 2011 February 2011
Panelist, Biosystems track, National Science Foundation Friedlander January 2011 January 2011
Member, scientific team, Scripps Line Islands investigation of fish demographics Friedlander November 2010 December 2010
Member, USGS Cooperative Research Units Safety Committee Raz June 2023 Present
Member, Tropical Americas Coral Reef Resilience working group, IUCN & Int. Coral Reef Initiative Friedlander April 2012 Present
Member, Research Priorities for the Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument Workshop, Marine Conservation Biology Institute Friedlander October 2009 October 2009
Member, Outreach & Education Working Group, U.S. Coral Reef Task Force Birkeland January 2002 December 2003
Member, Organizing Committee, Hawaii Aquatics Conference 2003 Birkeland August 2003 November 2003
Member, Organizing Committee, Hawaii Aquatics Conference 2001 Birkeland November 2001 November 2001
Member, NMFS Biological Review Team for bumphead parrotfish Friedlander June 2010 June 2011
Member, Molokini Conservation Action Plan Team, Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources and The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii Friedlander September 2011 Present
Member, Coral Reef Mitigation Working Group Birkeland March 2003 Present
Member, CRU Awards Committee Birkeland October 2001 October 2001
Member, Biogeographic Assessment of Virgin Islands National Park, NOAA CCMA Friedlander July 2009 July 2009
Member, Advisory Panel, State of Hawaii on the Management of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Birkeland July 2001 January 2000
Member - working group on global reef fish biodiversity - French Foundation on Biodiversity Friedlander April 2011 Present
Lead, Committee to develop reasearch guidelines for the Palmyra Research Station Consortium, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Birkeland August 2002 Present
Lead scientist-Farquhar Atoll, Seychelles expedition, The National Geographic Society Friedlander February 2009 March 2009
Lead scientist-Easter Island expedition, The National Geographic Society Friedlander February 2011 March 2011
Lead scientist-Cocos Island, Costa Rica expedition, The National Geographic Society Friedlander September 2010 October 2010
Lead scientist, Kahoolawe Reserve Ecological Assessment, The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii Friedlander June 2009 June 2009
Lead scientist - southern Line Islands expedition, The National Geographic Society Friedlander May 2009 June 2009
External Program Reviewer, NOAA-Coral Reef Ecosystem Investigation for Honolulu Laboratory, Southwest Fisheries Science Center Birkeland January 2002 Present
Chief scientist, Pitcairn Islands expedition, The National Geographic Society Friedlander March 2012 April 2012
Outreach Activity Provider(s)        Date       
Testimony written for H.B. No. 2831, CORAL REEF PROTECTION ACT Birkeland February 2001
Talked with Malama Pupukea-Waimea MLCD group about results of our 8 years of data in the protected area Friedlander February 2011
Talk to Nature Conservancy group about Palmyra Atoll prior to their trip. Friedlander April 2011
Talk to Lanakai Community Board on fisheries assessment and monitoring Friedlander June 2012
Talk given to the West Hawaii Fisheries Council on how technological developments have removed all natural reserves of coral-reef fishes. Birkeland November 2002
Spoke to Windward Community College science class on how technological advances in fisheries techniques removed all natural reserves and so it is necessary to establish artificial reserves by legislation Birkeland October 2003
Spoke before the State Legislative Committee on H.B. No. 2831, the CORAL REEF PROTECTION ACT Birkeland February 2001
Public talk with Hanalei community about 20 years of marine research in Hanalei Bay, Kauai sponsored by the Hanalei National Heritage River. Friedlander June 2012
Public talk on "Dangers of Small Population Size" to fishermen and local Hawaiians as part of the program for the 2003 Aquatics Conference sponsored by the Hawaii chapter of the Audubon Society Birkeland November 2003
Public lecture sponsored by the Pupukea-Waimea community to present findings on 10 years of protection at the Pupukea marine protected area. Friedlander November 2011
Public lecture at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve: "Fishes, fishing, and Hawaii's coral reefs" Friedlander June 2009
Provided scientific support (fish data collection and processing) for a fishing tournament on Kauai focused on removing invasive coral-reef fishes. Raz, Grabowski, Masse, McSwain, Bartz, Larson, Otsu, Engel August 2023
Premier consultant for U.S. Postal Service Pacific Coral Reef panorama stamp set in the Nature in America series. Birkeland June 2002
Participated in weekend fish camp for children on the island of Lanai. Presented results of previous work on Lanai and Big Island. Friedlander November 2012
Participated in National Geographic documentary "Shark Island" Friedlander September 2009
Participated in National Geographic documentary "Lost sharks of Easter Island" Friedlander November 2010
Organized, coordinated and obtained funding for international group of speakers for a symposium at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting 2002 held in Boston. Birkeland February 2002
Organized an educational booth at a local, cultural festival to share our Unit's science with the public. McSwain, Raz, Grabowski, Rodriguez, Demers, Bartz September 2023
Maintained an information booth with a poster about invasive species for public education, attended by Senator Inouye and his staff. The name of the event was "Invasion of the Reef Snatchers" and the poster was entitled "Effects of the Introduced Grouper, Cephalopholis argus, Commonly Called Roi". (Dierking) Birkeland August 2004
Maganize interview on marine protected areas with Green: Hawaii's sustainable living magazine. Friedlander April 2009
Invited speaker and panel member to the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy Birkeland May 2002
Invited by the Maunalua Bay Community Organization to discuss the results of our research on bonefish and fish population trends in the bay Friedlander April 2010
Invited by Lanikai Community Organization to talk about Marine Protected Areas and the health of the Kailua/Lanikai marine ecosystem Friedlander December 2011
Interviewed by the Honolulu Weekly on the aquarium fish fishery in Hawaii. Friedlander March 2011
Interview of Unit Leader about the biology and conservation status of Hawaiian freshwater fishes Grabowski February 2021
Guest on KTUH 90.1 FM radio show to discuss my science and career as a marine biologist. Raz March 2023
Gave talk to fishermen and guides on best handing practices for catch-and-release fishing for bonefish Friedlander March 2012
Gave a talk and served as a resource person for a debating team from a local Hawaiian high school that is preparing for a national debating contest to take place in St. Louis, Missouri. The topic of the debating contest will be "The U.S. should put aside more coastal shallow waters into reserves." Birkeland October 2003
Dr. Grabowski is interviewed about ongoing research on invasive Peacock Grouper (roi) and efforts to control their populations. Grabowski July 2017
Contributor/Advisor. NOAA website for scientific advisement on coral reef ecology and management to the public and to school teachers (ongoing)( Birkeland August 2001
Birkeland, C., and A.M. Friedlander. 2001. The importance of refuges for reef fish replenishment in Hawaii'i. Pacific Fisheries Coalition and Hawaii Audubon society, Honolulu, HI. 19 p. Birkeland June 2001
Birkeland, C. Sept 01. Why some species are influential on coral reefs, and others are not. West Hawaii Explorations Academy. Kona, HI Birkeland September 2001
Birkeland, C. Sept 01. New technology makes marine reserves imperative. West Hawaii Fisheries Council. Kona, HI Birkeland September 2001
Birkeland, C. Sept 01. Economics of coral reefs. Reef Talk Session. Kona, Hawaii Birkeland September 2001
Birkeland, C. Marine reserves:does Hawaii need them or not? Pacific Aquaculture and Marine Resources Center, Marine Option Program, and University of Hawaii at Hilo. Hilo, Hawaii. Birkeland September 2001
Birkeland, C. Mar 01. Fall and rise of corals and rise and fall of fish on Tutuila's reefs. Public talk at Feleti Barstow Public Library in Pago Pago, American Samoa. Birkeland March 2001
Birkeland, C. Mar 01. A talk on reef fisheries management at two public hearings. March 23 and March 24 at the Office of Samoan Affairs and at the Rainmaker Hotel, Pago Pago, American Samoa. Birkeland March 2001
Back to the sea for the future. Calypso Log. June 2001:37 Birkeland June 2001
Article from University of Hawaii at Hilo detailing Unit Leader's development of distance classes during COVID-19 pandemic Grabowski December 2020
Appeared in video for Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument to honor Hawaiian fisherman Friedlander November 2012
"Data Sources Matter - A Case Study of the Dwarf Seahorse" -- Article highlighting research on species distribution models and Dwarf Seahorse. Grabowski, Roesler July 2018
"Citizen Science Helps to Inform Ornamental Fishery Decisions in Hawaii" -- Article highlighting research done at the Hawaii Cooperative Fishery Research Unit Grabowski April 2020